Who’s your BFF?

The other day, I was talking to a friend and I made the comment “Sometimes, I am my own worst enemy.” I don’t know why, but this morning as I was waking up, that conversation lingered in my mind. I thought about that statement.

What are the characteristics that one might associate with an “enemy”?

Hatred. Hostility. One who has intent to cause another harm or injury.

Hatred.

Hmmm. HATRED. This is one thing that I thought I had made the conscious decision to rid my life of years ago. The hatred of others. I believe that hatred eats away at the soul. Sure, there might be people in this world whom I choose not to have in my life or associate with on a personal level. I might choose to cut out toxic people who consistently cause me pain or harm. To me, this is different than hatred. This is self-preservation.

I honestly cannot say that I consider anyone in this world my personal enemy. Life is too short and precious for that kind of feeling to control my mind and heart. I simply do not allow people who hurt me or wish me harm to be in my world. They are nothing more than a blip on the screen of my life, because I will not give them more power than that.

That brings me back to my initial statement.

“Sometimes, I am my own worst enemy.”

Wait, what????? Have I gone so far as to rid my life of those who cause me harm or pain, only to allow MYSELF to do that very thing with self-destructive behaviors of my own? We all have them. But do we own them? Do *I* own them? Yours might not be the same as mine, but I believe we all have them. Sometimes it’s things we do that cause ourselves harm. Sometimes, it’s what we allow other people to do to cause us harm. Do we allow others to treat us poorly or with disrespect? Do we think we deserve to be treated this way?

I pride myself on being a good friend to others. While I may not be a PERFECT friend (we are all flawed…) I think I am a good friend. I aim to be loyal and trustworthy, and to love and accept my friends unconditionally.

Love.

What are some characteristics of a true, loving friend??? (These are some of mine, but your idea of a friend might be a little different.)

A friend values you as a person, not what you can do for them, but for who you are. A friend honors you. A friend is honest with you even when the truth is difficult, and a friend trusts you with their truth. A friend is your cheerleader when you need encouragement and a shoulder when you need somewhere to lean. A friend gives AND takes. A friend is not critical. A friend nurtures you and builds you up. A friend would never intentionally do something that they know will cause you harm.

We all know what we look for in friendships and what we aim to be as a friend to others – so that leads me to ponder…

Am I my own best friend?

Hmmm.

I know this – I like myself more today than I did for most of my life. I have come a long way in that respect – and I do believe that most of my relationships have blossomed because of that. I think I have become a better wife, mom, sister, and friend. (Not PERFECT, but better. More capable of giving back. More appreciative.) You know that saying “You can’t expect anyone else to love you if you don’t love yourself.” True, I think. And, deep down, I do finally love ME.

But – do I treat myself like my own best friend? And I’m not talking about being selfish or only putting myself first. I’m talking about something bigger than that.

Do I nurture myself? Do I honor my own truth? Do I treat myself as well as I treat my best friends? Do I GIVE to myself (taking “me” time, or spending time doing things I enjoy, nurturing body or spirit?) and do I give OF myself? (Helping others …) Do I treat myself in ways that I know could cause me harm, either emotionally or physically? Do I build myself up? Or do I put myself down and belittle my own accomplishments? (Either out loud, or in my own head.) Do I encourage myself to be the BEST I can be, or do I sabotage my own success without giving it much thought??? Do I allow people in my life to make me feel inferior or disrespected?

I can honestly say that I do many of these things, but if I am honest with myself, I know I need to work harder at being my own best friend. I would say “I’m trying.” But my wonderful therapist (I will tell you more about her another time, but she rocks!) so wisely calls me on that every time. “I’m trying…” also means “I’m coming up with excuses for not doing.”

What about you? Are you treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated? Are you setting an example for how others should treat you? Are you your own BFF?